Category: Quick and Easy

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted acorn squash makes a delicious side dish. For this recipe I served this with a pan-roasted pork tenderloin, seasoned solely with salt and pepper, seared in a skillet and finished in the oven to 145 degrees F. A slightly pink interior. Try our Rosemary Honey-Mustard sauce over the pork, it’s perfect for this dish.

I chose to leave the skin on for a different presentation. I’ve been told the skin is edible, but I find it to be tough, especially when roasted, it gets a little firmer. But, the skin on add a beautiful presentation to any dish and the sweet pulp is easily scrapped off with a fork.

This recipe is easily adaptable to any number of people. And, the squash can be cut in half or in quarters in lieu of slices. Add a few more minutes of cooking time. The squash is done when fork tender. One-half acorn squash is usually a perfect serving, unless you have many other sides, then figure ¼ squash per person.

chopped thyme

This recipe is a great example of using both dried and fresh herbs. The dried thyme is best when roasting – the flavor permeates the squash but doesn’t burn and there are no fussy twigs to get rid of. The fresh thyme is the perfect garnish; it brings a pure, fresh taste of the thyme to the dish, as well as a lovely contrasting color.

Roasting the Squash

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Scrub the outside of the squash with a vegetable brush and dry.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Cut the squash in half lengthwise.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Scoop out the seeds and discard.

The acorn squash is ready to be seasoned and roasted in this form, or cut in half again for quarters, or cut each quarter into 2 or 3 more slices. The squash is very adaptable to cooking in any format.

Sliced Roasted Acorn Squash

If cooking the squash in half or quarters, trim a small piece off a center rib so the squash sits flat when place skin side down.

Combine the salt, dried thyme and pepper in a small bowl.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Brush the inside and outside of the squash with the oil. Sprinkle the squash with the spice mix.

Place the half or quartered acorn squash skin side down or strew the slices of squash across the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the squash is very soft when pierced with a fork.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Garnish with the fresh thyme and use the sprigs to garnish the serving platter.

Roasted Acorn Squash

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Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash

This recipe is easily adaptable to any number of people. One-half acorn squash is usually a perfect serving for one, unless you have many other sides, then figure ¼ squash per person.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 - 8 servings
  • Category: Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Method: Roasting

Ingredients

2 acorn squash
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Garnish
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
Thyme sprigs

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Scrub the outside of the squash with a vegetable brush and dry.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise.

Scoop out the seeds and discard.

The acorn squash is ready to be seasoned and roasted in this form, or cut in half again for quarters, or cut each quarter into 2 or 3 more slices. The squash is very adaptable to cooking in any format.

If cooking the squash in half or quarters, trim a small piece off a center rib so the squash sits flat when place skin side down.

Combine the salt, dried thyme and pepper in a small bowl.

Brush the inside and outside of the squash with the oil. Sprinkle the squash with the spice mix.

Place the half or quartered acorn squash skin side down or strew the slices of squash across the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the squash is very soft when pierced with a fork.

Garnish with the fresh thyme and use the sprigs to garnish the serving platter.

Keywords: squash, acorn squash, roasted squash, roasted acorn squash

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Looking for a quick and easy dinner? This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe and cooks quickly on the stovetop, about 1 ½ hours, or in a slow cooker, about 3 ½ hours. Simply prep the pancetta and aromatics, sauté, add the seasonings, canned tomatoes, stock, and chicken (no browning necessary), cover and cook. Add the kale and beans 10 minutes before finishing up and dinner is ready!

Slow Cookers

A quick note on slow cookers. Not all slow cookers are not the same. I personally think it is a waste of money not to own a programmable version. The ones with high/low settings are usually inaccurate and the low setting cooks at too high a temperature for a succulent braise or stew. The perfect temperature for slow cooking is 180 degrees F. Anything higher than that cooks at temperatures that denature and coagulate proteins quickly and there is a greater loss of natural juices and flavors.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

I also like the slow cookers that have a removable, oven-proof insert. This allows you to sauté, brown, etc. in one pan and then transition into the slow cooker with no added dishes to wash. Some slow cookers have many programs available and offer a sauté function and the entire recipe can be made start to finish in the vessel.

If you can’t find or are not a fan of kale, substitute other greens, such as chard, mustard greens for a little zing, or spinach, which only needs to be stirred into the hot stew last minute to wilt.

Putting the Stew Together

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

sautéing pancetta

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

sautéing aromatics for Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This may not look like enough liquid, but don’t add more. The vegetables and chicken exude lots of flavorful juices and adding more liquid now only dilutes the flavor.

Here’s the difference in the amount of liquid, above before cooking and below after cooking.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

 

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Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe that cooks quickly on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Lots of flavor and vegetables, too!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Stew/Braise
  • Method: Slow Cook

Ingredients

4 ounces diced pancetta
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
12 baby bell peppers, tops removed, sliced lengthwise, or one bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup vegetable demi-glace, such as More Than Gourmet
2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken (white meat, dark meat, or both), cut into 2-inch cubes

Instructions

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Notes

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

Keywords: slow cook, crockpot, stew, braise, chicken stew, kale, white beans, one-pot dinner

 

Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

I served this Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with a Sherry Wine Vinaigrette for dinner the other night and my girlfriend Lynn loved it. She had never had raw escarole before.

Blue cheese goes nicely with the bitterness of escarole, it adds a salty creaminess, the cranberries a little tartness, and the crunchy walnuts add more crunch. The tangy vinaigrette brings it all together. While there’s lots going on in this salad, it’s very simple to make.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this salad is an excellent way to start or accompany your menu. The refreshing crispy escarole with a coating of the zesty dressing is a great foil for all those rich and tasty traditional Thanksgiving sides.

Vinaigrette

A simple mix of olive oil, Sherry wine vinegar, Dijon, shallots, salt and pepper.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Use two tablespoons minced shallot  for this dressing. If the shallot is large, mince only half.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Place the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Salad

Thoroughly wash the escarole, it grows in a sandy soil.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Spin dry and stack the greens and slice across the leaves.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Place the sliced escarole in a salad bowl. Shake the vinaigrette and drizzle the greens with just enough dressing to coat the salad but not pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Sprinkle the top of the salad with the nuts, cheese, and cranberries. I like to add the toppings last because they always fall to the bottom of the bowl. Sitting on top of the dressed salad makes a lovely presentation.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

 

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Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

A tangy, crunchy salad that’s quick and easy to make.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Salad

Ingredients

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 small minced shallot, about 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Salad
1 head escarole, chopped
1 cup whole toasted walnuts, chopped
¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

Vinaigrette

Two tablespoons minced shallot is enough for this dressing. If the shallot is large, mince only half.

Place the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Salad

Thoroughly wash the escarole, it grows in a sandy soil. Spin dry and stack the greens and slice across the leaves.

Place the sliced escarole in a salad bowl

Shake the vinaigrette and drizzle the greens with just enough dressing to coat the salad but not pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Sprinkle the top of the salad with the nuts, cheese, and cranberries.

I like to add the toppings last because they always fall to the bottom of the bowl. Sitting on top of the dressed salad makes a lovely presentation.

Keywords: salad, vinaigrette, escarole salad, escarole salad with blue cheese, escarole salad with blue cheese and walnuts, dried cranberries, sherry wine vinaigrette

Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

I like to tweak recipes. Sometimes it’s not a very noticeable change and other times I create a new version of something I’ve done in the past. This Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake is a remake of a traditional Italian Ricotta Cheese that I did a couple of years ago. I thought a pumpkin version for Thanksgiving was just what we needed this year!

This dessert whips up in a matter of minutes. Make it the day before and let it sit, refrigerated of course, which allows the flavors to meld. It also takes the pressure off on Thanksgiving day to have the dessert already done. Take it out of the refrigerator an hour before serving to warm up, and add a dollop of whipped cream for a delicious garnish.

Making the Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 300ºF and lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with a little unsalted butter. I use a small piece of wax paper and a dab of butter, about 1 teaspoon, and smear it over the bottom and sides of the pan.

greasing the pan for pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the pan and turn on a slant to coat the sides too.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Sometimes a springform pan leaks and this keeps the bottom of your oven clean.

Place the ricotta cheese, sugar, pumpkin powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves in a mixing bowl.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

Beat with a whisk attachment until combined, or in a bowl with a hand whisk. Make sure there are no lumps.

If you are mixing by hand, the eggs are best beaten first and then added to the batter. I use the empty ricotta cheese container to avoid using another bowl. Simply crack the eggs into the container, cover, and shake to scramble.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

Add the eggs and vanilla to the batter and whisk until smooth.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake batter

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. The cake is done when it’s set in the center and the sides are lightly golden brown.

Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Take a sharp knife and run the blade around the inside of the pan to make sure the cake isn’t sticking; then release the side panel. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

 

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Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

A quick and easy dessert that can be made a day in advance. Take the cake out of the refrigerator an hour before serving to warm up. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 80 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon more for the pan
1/2 cup pumpkin powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Garnish
whipped cream

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300ºF and lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with a little unsalted butter. I use a small piece of wax paper and a dab of butter, about 1 teaspoon, and smear it over the bottom and sides of the pan. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the pan and turn on a slant to coat the sides too.

Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Sometimes a springform pan leaks and this keeps the bottom of your oven clean.

Place the ricotta cheese, sugar, pumpkin powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves in a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk attachment until combined, or in a bowl with a hand whisk. Make sure there are no lumps.

If you are mixing by hand, the eggs are best beaten first and then added to the batter. I use the empty ricotta cheese container to avoid using another bowl. Simply crack the eggs into the container, cover, and shake to scramble.

Add the eggs and vanilla to the batter and whisk until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. The cake is done when it’s set in the center and the sides are lightly golden brown.

Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Take a sharp knife and run the blade around the side of the pan; then release the side panel. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate.

Keywords: Ricotta cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, cheesecake, Italian cheesecake, pumpkin,

Quick and Easy Hollandaise Sauce

quick and easy hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise sauce is a delicious topping for poached eggs, fish, like salmon or arctic char, sautéed chicken, pork tenderloin, or potatoes. This Quick and Easy Hollandaise Sauce is made in the blender and comes together in minutes.

Simply combine the eggs, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and cayenne in the blender. Then slowly drizzle in the melted butter through the cap opening to emulsify.

To keep warm, place the sauce in a bowl in a tray or pot of very warm water; hot water may break the emulsion.

Poached Eggs

Watch the video here.
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Quick and Easy Hollandaise Sauce

quick and easy hollandaise sauce

Delicious hollandaise sauce in minutes. use with eggs, fish, chicken, pork, or potatoes.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3/4 cup
  • Category: Sauces

Ingredients

3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
pinch cayenne
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

Place the eggs, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and cayenne in the base of blender or a small container for immersion blender and puree.

Slowly drizzle the hot melted butter through opening in top to create an emulsion.

To keep, place the sauce in a warm bowl in a tray of very warm water.

Notes

Holding in hot water may break the emulsion.

Keywords: Easy hollandaise sauce, quick and easy hollandaise sauce, hollandaise sauce

Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

I know many are intimidated by the thought making Poached Eggs, but it really is quite simple. The key is to poach the egg until the white is set and the egg yolk is runny, which means temperature control and timing. If you prefer a firm yolk, a little more time at the controlled temperature is all that is required.

Farm fresh eggs are the best for poaching. The egg whites are nice and tight so there’s less spread in the pan. For an older egg, a dash of white vinegar in the cooking water helps coagulate the egg white. There are also egg poaching machines and lots of little cups, etc that claim to make pretty poached eggs. I don’t see the point myself and they would only take up more space in my already full kitchen.

Poached Eggs

How to Poach Eggs

To make them the old-fashioned way, fill a low rimmed saucepan or a straight-sided skillet with cold water, high enough to cover the tops of the eggs. Add almost a capful of white vinegar and bring to a full boil.

Place a couple of folded paper towels by the side of the stove to briefly drain the cooked eggs on before plating.

Crack up to 4 eggs in a small bowl, slide the eggs into the hot water and immediately lower the heat to the gentlest of simmers. Cook for 2 minutes 30 seconds for a runny yolk or 3 minutes for a firm yolk. The key to success here is the gentle simmer, a rapid boil is harsh, and the eggs are easily ruined by the turbulent water.

Poached Eggs

Use a mesh skimmer spoon and gently scoop up all the eggs together. Rest the bottom of the skimmer spoon on the paper towels to drain for a couple of seconds and then slide onto your plate.

Sprinkle a wee bit of kosher salt and ground pepper over the eggs and dig in. Hollandaise sauce recipe coming next week.

Watch our video here. Note: Since making the video, I prefer to crack my eggs in a bowl and slide them into the water vs. cracking them individually into the pan. They keep better shape and cooking time is even for all.

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Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

Farm fresh eggs are the best for poaching. The egg whites are nice and tight so there’s less spread in the pan. For an older egg, a dash of white vinegar in the cooking water helps coagulate the egg white.

The key is to poach the egg until the white is set and the egg yolk is runny, which means temperature control and timing. If you prefer a firm yolk, a little more time at the controlled temperature is all that is required.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: Eggs

Ingredients

1 to 4 large eggs
white vinegar

Instructions

Fill a low rimmed saucepan or a straight-sided skillet with cold water, high enough to cover the tops of the eggs. Add almost a capful of white vinegar and bring to a full boil.

Place a couple of folded paper towels by the side of the stove to briefly drain the cooked eggs on before plating.

Crack up to 4 eggs in a small bowl, slide the eggs into the hot water and immediately lower the heat to the gentlest of simmers. Cook for 2 minutes 30 seconds for a runny yolk or 3 minutes for a firm yolk. The key to success here is the gentle simmer, a rapid boil is harsh, and the eggs are easily ruined by the turbulent water.

Use a mesh skimmer spoon and gently scoop up all the eggs together. Rest the bottom of the skimmer spoon on the paper towels to drain for a couple of seconds and then slide onto your plate.

Sprinkle a wee bit of kosher salt and ground pepper over the eggs and dig in.

Keywords: poached eggs, eggs, poaching

1 to 4 large eggs
white vinegar

Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce

Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce - in gravy bowl

Before we get into the ABCs of this delicious Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce, I want to tell you about a product I use in place of homemade or canned stock, or, heaven forbid, bouillon.

More Than Gourmet

More Than Gourmet display photo

First, I want to assure you that this is not a product-sponsored post – I don’t do them. More Than Gourmet doesn’t advertise or pay anyone to promote their products; they rely on word-of-mouth. My goal is to make you aware of a superior product and I want you to know about it because it’s a key ingredient in my soup, stew, and sauce recipes.

More Than Gourmet french demi-glace

Canned or store-bought stock is thin in flavor and I don’t like the fact that salt has been added, which limits using them in reductions. Back in the day, I used to make homemade stock. It was a 24-hour chore. Starting and skimming the stock, simmering overnight, straining, cooling, and finally putting in jars for freezing. It was worth it in terms of flavor, but very time consuming. It also seemed like I used it up quickly and was back at the chore again and again and again.

More Than Gourmet Sauce packet

I have an entire pantry door devoted to a wide variety of More Than Gourmet concentrated stock and demi-glace packets. These are a life-saver, especially when I make something spur of the moment, I know I’ll always have what I need on hand.

More Than Gourmet - my kitchen cabinet

I bring this to your attention, because it’s all I use in my recipes and I believe that my recipes benefit from the depth of flavor provided by these stocks and demi-glaces, which store-bought products can’t match.

Back to the Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce

Here is a quick and easy sauce that goes well with chicken and pork. It only takes about 20 minutes to make and it freezes well.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Slide the shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper into the hot pan, stir and sweat for 2 minutes. If the shallot begins to brown, lower the heat a smidge.

sweating the shallot and garlic in oil

Whisk in the orange zest and honey mustard. Stir in the stock or demi-glace, I used the roasted chicken demi-glace, which is more concentrated in flavor and creates a rich and tasty sauce.

adding the orange zest and honey mustard to shallots

Toss in the rosemary sprig and simmer for 5 minutes.

Discard the rosemary and pour the sauce over chicken or pork or serve in a ladled bowl on the side.

finished sauce Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce

Sauce freezes well.

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Rosemary Honey-Mustard Sauce

Make this quick and easy sauce to use over chicken or pork.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: generous cup
  • Category: Sauce

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
zest of one orange
2 teaspoons spicy honey mustard
1 cup chicken stock or demi-glace
1 sprig rosemary

Instructions

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Slide the shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper into the hot pan, stir and sweat for 2 minutes. If the shallot begins to brown, lower the heat a smidge.

Stir in the orange zest, honey mustard to combine. Then whisk in the stock or demi-glace. The demi-glace is more concentrated in flavor and creates a very rich sauce.

Toss in the rosemary sprig and simmer for 5 minutes.

Discard the rosemary and pour the sauce over your chicken or pork or serve in a ladled bowl on the side.

Notes

Sauce freezes well.

Keywords: sauce, rosemary, honey mustard, gravy

 

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Corn and Black Bean Salad in a bowl

When my husband came home from the store over Labor Day weekend, he said Terry, the produce manager at the Village Market, told him this was probably the last weekend for corn. I’m always shocked how quickly corn season passes. I hadn’t even made my Corn and Black Bean Salad yet!

This salad comes together easily. The only ingredient that is cooked is the corn and even that is optional. I either steam it on the stovetop or grill it.

Prepare the Corn

To steam the corn, fill a large saucepan with a couple of inches of cold water and a tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, add the corn, and cook for 5 minutes.

To grill the corn, preheat the grill to high. Brush a little olive oil on the corn, set on the hot grill, reduce the heat a bit, and cook for 5 minutes, turning the ears 3 times.

Let the corn cool for 5 or 10 minutes for easier handling and then cut off the kernels with a sharp knife.

Corn and Black Bean Salad prepped ingredients

Finish the Salad

Pop those kernels into a medium serving bowl along with the black beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, but be sure to hold back of couple of tablespoons for garnishing the salad, salt, and lime juice. Toss to combine thoroughly.

I like the salad to sit at least an hour to let the flavors meld, so I omit the avocado until just before serving to prevent it from oxidizing. The oxygen in the air reacts with the avocado flesh and turns it brown. Nothing unhealthy about it, just not eye appealing. You can also make the salad the day before without the avocado. Take the salad out of the fridge a good 30 minutes before serving to warm a little.

Corn and Black Bean Salad with avocado

Lots of flavors and textures in the Corn and Black Bean Salad and it goes with everything – burgers, kabobs, chicken, fish, beef, pork, or seafood, and it’s vegan/vegetarian!

Happy Labor Day!

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Corn and Black Bean Salad

This salad comes together easily. The only ingredient that is cooked is the corn and even that is optional. Steam it, grill it, our use it au naturel. It’s colorful, tasty, and the only side dish you need for a meal.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish

Ingredients

6 ears corn
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Kirby cucumber, diced, or about ¼ cup cucumber, remove seeds if bitter
¼ red onion, small dice
1 jalapeno, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small bunch cilantro chopped, reserving a couple of tablespoons for garnishing the salad
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 avocado

Instructions

To steam the corn, fill a large saucepan with a couple of inches of cold water and a tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, add the corn, and cook for 5 minutes.

To grill the corn, preheat the grill to high. Brush a little olive oil on the corn, set on the hot grill, reduce the heat a bit, and cook for 5 minutes, turning the ears 3 times.

Let the corn cool for 5 or 10 minutes for easier handling and then cut off the kernels with a sharp knife.

Pop those kernels in a medium serving bowl along with the black beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, but be sure to hold back of couple of tablespoons for garnishing the salad, salt, and lime juice. Toss to combine thoroughly.

Notes

I like the salad to sit at least an hour to let the flavors meld, so I omit the avocado until just before serving to prevent it from oxidizing. The oxygen in the air reacts with the avocado flesh and turns it brown. Nothing unhealthy about it, just not eye appealing. You can also make the salad the day before without the avocado. Take the salad out of the fridge a good 30 minutes before serving to warm a little.

Keywords: summer salad, salad, black bean salad, corn salad, black beans, corn, side dish, gluten-free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, summer recipe

Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade

lemonde

We’ve had some hot, sweltering days this summer – high temps accompanied with high humidity. A tall, ice-cold glass of Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade is always a welcome treat, especially on days like these.

This recipe is based on my memory of how Mom made lemonade when I was a kid. I remember her using both freshly-squeezed lemon and orange juice. While I like my lemonade tart with just a hint of sweetness, the small addition of orange juice calms the absolute tartness of the lemons just enough to make this summer refresher delicious and thirst quenching.

lemonde

Use simple syrup to make the lemonade – no worries about sugar residue on the bottom of the glass. Make up batches and keep in the refrigerator to have on hand to sweeten all your summer drinks – iced tea, iced coffee, and lemonade.

Watch the video here.

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Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade

Quick and easy to make, old-fashioned homemade lemonade is a refreshing pick-me-up on those tropical summer days.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 gallon
  • Category: Beverages

Ingredients

2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¾ cup simple syrup
Cold water and ice

Garnish

Lemon and/or orange slices, seeded

 

 

 

Instructions

Combine the juices and simple syrup.

Add ice and cold water, stir to blend.

Serve over ice in a tall glass.

Keywords: iced beverage, lemonade, iced drinks

Simple Syrup

simple syrup

Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water melted over high heat. Make a batch and keep on hand to sweeten iced tea, lemonade, iced coffee or any specialty cocktail. It’s also a key component to making a sorbet or granita.

Simple syrups have a decent shelf life. Keep refrigerated in a sealed container for a several weeks. If mold forms on an older syrup, just like jams and jellies; discard immediately.

simple syrup

A rich simple syrup is double the amount of sugar to water (a ratio of 2:1). The increased amount of sugar increases the preservation and this syrup lasts up to six months refrigerated in a sealed container.

Use a small syrup container, similar to what you see in a diner, and keep it on a small plate to prevent any drips from forming on your table or refrigerator. Here’s a nice selection from Amazon.

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Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is quick and easy to make and has multiple uses, like iced drinks, cocktails, sorbets and granitas.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cold water

Rich Simple Syrup

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup cold water

Instructions

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, set aside to cool. Pour into a covered container and refrigerate.

Syrup lasts several weeks and rich simple syrup up to 6 months.

Notes

Discard if any mold appears on the surface of the simple syrup.

Keywords: simple syrup

Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickles

Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickles in a mason jar

Quick pickles are popular lately, especially if you watch the food show competitions. It’s a quick and easy way to add a crunchy texture and boost flavor using acid, salt, sugar, herbs, and/or spices. Ginger, chili peppers, cumin, and coriander give this recipe a Middle Eastern flavor.

The pickles can be used within 20 minutes or so of a quick brine – use an ice bath to chill before serving. Store remaining pickles in jars with the brine and seasonings. The pickles continue to soak up flavors and the vegetables soften a little over time.

Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickles in mason jars

I created this quick pickle recipe to go with the Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Salad, the pungency of the pickles complements the dish nicely as does the crunchy texture.

Watch the Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickle video here.

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Cauliflower and Red Onion Quick Pickles

Quick pickles are an easy way to add a crunchy texture and boost flavor using acid, salt, sugar, herbs, and spices. Ginger, chili peppers, cumin, and coriander give this recipe a Middle Eastern flavor.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups
  • Category: Pickles

Ingredients

1 small cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
4 cups cold water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup coarsely chopped cloves garlic, about 6 cloves
3 serrano chilies, halved or dried chilies
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon diced fresh ginger, about a 1-inch piece

Instructions

Combine water, vinegar, sugar garlic, chilies, salt, coriander and cumin seeds, ginger and salt in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil; lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the cauliflower and onions, return to a boil, then turn the heat off and let steep for 10 minutes.

Ladle the vegetables and brine into jars, make sure the brine come to 1/2-inch below the top of the jar.

Strain the remaining liquid and divide the garlic, chilies, seeds and ginger evenly between the jars.

Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Notes

To use immediately, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water, place a smaller bowl in the center and fill with the quick pickles. Stir frequently to chill evenly.

Keywords: 38370

Mexican Deviled Eggs

Mexican Deviled Eggs on a platter

I love the smoky flavors and my go to spices for adding that earthy smokiness are ancho and chipotle chilies and smoked paprika. These are the predominant flavors in my Mexican Deviled Eggs, combined these with  lime juice, Mexican oregano and a hint of cumin. The result is a spicy, smoky deviled egg.

Remember, deviled eggs aren’t just party food. Eat them for breakfast or lunch. Do you love egg salad? Instead of stuffing the egg whites, chop them up and blend in with the puréed yolks, add a little more crema or sour cream if it’s too thick, spread on a tortilla, top with some lettuce and tomato and you have a Mexican egg-salad sandwich!

Mexican Deviled Eggs on a platter

See our post/video on making hard-boiled eggs here; or use store-bought hard-cooked eggs to save time.

NOTE: Queso fresco is a mild, semi-soft Mexican cheese and is available at most major grocery chains.

Watch the video here.

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Mexican Deviled Eggs

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 37 minutes
  • Yield: 1 dozen
  • Category: Appetizer

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced shallot (1 small)
2 teaspoons minced cloves garlic (2 cloves)
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
6 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and sliced in half lengthwise, yolks and whites separated

¼ cup Mexican crema or sour cream
¼ cup chopped queso fresco
1 tablespoon lime juice

Garnish

Shredded queso fresco and/or a cilantro leaf

Instructions

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.

Stir in shallots, garlic and salt; sweat for 4 minutes or until the shallots are soft.

Add the ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano and chipotle powder and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30-40 seconds.

Place the egg yolks, crema/sour cream, queso fresco, lime juice, in the base of a food processor. Purée, scraping sides as needed. Add the cooked shallots and purée again.

Fill the cavity of each egg white with the egg yolk purée by using a spoon or a piping bag.

Garnish each egg with a pinch of shredded queso fresco and/or a cilantro leaf.

Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Best served at room temperature.

Notes

Queso fresco is a mild, semi-soft Mexican cheese and is available at most major grocery chains.

Keywords: deviled eggs, hard cooked eggs